The infectious optimism and enthusiasm of YogaBeyond’s Claudine Lafond makes her a natural fit to join Yogis Unite for MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Originally from New York City, Claudine took up her yoga practice over 15 years ago and never looked back, undergoing training in the Kripalu, Anusara, Iyengar, Forrest, Hatha, Vinyasa, and AcroYoga lineages.
Now based in Australia, she and her husband, Honza, co-founded YogaBeyond for yoga, education, and community. In 2012, they created ACROVINYASA, a blend of vinyasa, acroyoga, and inversions, which has now flourished to over 200 trained teachers worldwide. After closing their studio, they also became avid yoga festival teachers, and have been regulars at Wanderlust, one of the top yoga festivals in the world. Currently, they provide immersive yoga teacher training programs around the world with their toddler, Sofie Phoenix, in tow. With over 400 thousand Instagram followers, they share ACROVINYASA poses, retreats in Nepal, and their family life with a global online community. Recently, Parvati Magazine connected with Claudine to talk about yoga, a peaceful world, and Yogis Unite for MAPS.
Parvati Magazine: How has yoga shaped your everyday choices? What has it taught you about peace, compassion, and community?
Claudine Lafond: It may sound cliche, but yoga has taught me I am more than this body. I understand my deeper soul connection to the world around me, and the more I feel the connection with the natural world, the harder it is for me to ignore what is happening all over the place. I have also felt the suffering of humanity and the environment, so my yoga practice has taught me to be softer, gentler, and more loving in all my interactions and relationships.
Parvati Magazine: Why is the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary an initiative you felt inspired to support?
Claudine Lafond: I believe in the work they are doing. I’m down with anybody who is taking action towards more awareness and more love. It seems that the heart is the largest driving force in their choices. That speaks to me.
Parvati Magazine: How do the core values of your ACROVINYASA practice align with Yogis Unite?
Claudine Lafond: ACROVINYASA is based on community-building in order to foster greater growth, connection, and belonging. It seems that we are speaking the same language and have the same values and desires to bring people together and activate the power of love to create more healing across the planet.
Parvati Magazine: What does activism mean to you?
Claudine Lafond: It means stirring a fire in your belly, feeling the discomfort of it but breathing into it and doing it anyway. It’s about moving towards what you feel is right and doing so with your whole heart.
Parvati Magazine: What do you think are the key elements to building a connected, peaceful world?
Claudine Lafond: Meditation! Love! Prolonged hugs! Cultivating a deeper level of awareness, understanding our shared human experience, and recognizing the power we hold in our own hands to make change.
Claudine’s personal mission is to live a life of purpose fueled by love, truth, and courage. The desire to invite others to follow their bliss has led Claudine and her husband, Honza, to create YogaBeyond® and ACROVINYASA™, a highly transformative and inspiring stream of yoga.